What is infertility?
Infertile couple is defined as a couple that has regular unprotected intercourses for at least one year and the woman cannot get pregnant.
If a woman does not have regular periods or she is over 35 years of age, the couple should have further investigation after a six-month period of unprotected intercourses.
How does a woman get pregnant?
A woman's ovary must release an egg (or ovum) (ovulation) that travels into the fallopian tube where the sperm reach the ovum (fertilization).
The fertilized egg must go through a fallopian tube toward the uterus where must be developed (implantation).
Infertility occurs if there is a problem with one or more of these steps.
Is infertility a woman's problem?
No, infertility is not always a woman’s problem. Both men and women contribute to infertility.
What does it cause male infertility?
Infertility in men can be caused by several factors and usually evaluated with a semen analysis. The semen analysis reports the count, the motility and the morphology of sperm.
Risk factors for male infertility:
- Varicocele. It is a condition in which veins located on the testicles are dilated. As a result the testicles are heated which may affect the count or the morphology of the sperm
- Diseases such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, injury, infection or treatment with chemotherapy or radiation
- Unhealthy lifestyle, such as heavy alcohol consumption, testosterone supplements, smoking, anabolic steroid use or drugs
- Environmental toxins, including pesticides and lead
- Genetic causes
What does it cause female infertility?
Women should have proper function of ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus in order to become pregnant.
Factors affecting these anatomical structures contribute to female infertility.
- Ovulation problems. Possible causes:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (absence of periods)
- Premature ovarian ageing
- Primary ovarian insufficiency
- Early menopause
- Damage of Fallopian tubes. Possible causes:
- History of pelvic inflammatory disease
- History of ruptured appendix
- History of gonorrhea/ Chlamydia infection
- History of abdominal surgery
- Uterine anatomical abnormalities (resulting during embryogenesis or fibroids presence)
How could I decide which option is better for me?
Consult Dr. Marinakis. Begin with a targeted investigation of infertility causes. The solution to the problem lies within the proper investigation and finding the root causes of infertility.
If you are ready to go ahead with assisted reproductive technology (ART) without knowing the reason of infertility and having done the appropriate investigations , you might have been in the wrong place!
Doctor served for two years as a lecturer in the Research Programme 'OVARIAN AGEING AND FERTILITY' of IMPERIAL COLLEGE, LONDON and (co-) authored international scientific publications and gave international conferences presentations in the field of reproductive medicine and assisted reproduction.
Our goal is to solve the root causes of infertility in order to have a greater chance of achieving a natural conception. Only in case fertilisation does not take place naturally we advise on going to IVF, so as to avoid IVF as a “one-way street” without reason.